Are Divorce Records Public in Tennessee? Search TN Divorce Free

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Background Checks | October 7, 2022

Man standing on the state of Tennessee on the right examines a computer screen that shows a newlywed couple in a broken heart to see are divorce records public in Tennessee when doing a free TN divorce record search.

Whether it’s to find more information about someone you just met or because someone wonders how to find my divorce date for free, many individuals ask, are divorce records public in Tennessee?

Like most states storage process for marriage and divorce records, the answer is somewhat complicated depending on how the divorce was executed.

However, there are a few simple methods that can be used to search TN divorce free.

A simple name-based background check can provide free divorce records search, or, anyone can search manually using the following guide to find out are divorce records public in Tennessee.

Are Tennessee Divorce Records Public (Are Divorce Records Public in Tennessee?)

Divorce records in Tennessee are slightly more open than in many states. Just like every state, Tennessee divorce records are held in two different places. The Vital records office that is maintained by the Tennessee Department of Health maintains the vital records of the divorce and the court where the divorce was filed will hold all the court and legal records of the divorce.

Which one individuals should contact to obtain records will depend on a few factors.

Are divorce records public in Tennessee using the vital records office? Yes, for some requestors.

The vital records office holds divorce records in the form of a divorce certificate, which is often a cause of confusion. A divorce certificate is different from a divorce decree.

A divorce decree is what is issued by a judge when a divorce is finalized, whereas a divorce certificate is a document that merely states that a divorce took place and is used primarily for census purposes so that the state has its own record of divorce aside from the records held by the courts.

The court where the case was held will likely have a greater volume of records regarding the divorce, but this will depend on if the divorce required litigation or if the divorce was settled outside of court. If the divorce was settled outside of court, then the only official court documents regarding the divorce will be the divorce decree.

As mentioned, the divorce decree is the document that makes a divorce official once it is signed by a judge. However, the divorce decree also has tons of information on it regarding the divorce itself. Aside from the date and the names of the individuals who are getting divorced, the divorce decree will also include information regarding the exact details of the divorce settlement. This can include:

  • Alimony
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support information
  • Asset division
  • Debt division
  • Attorney information
  • Information about any name changes

There is a ton of more information that could potentially appear on the divorce decree depending on the circumstances of the divorce, but the above information is included in most cases.

Problems With Requesting Divorce Records in TN

When it comes to requesting any of the above information, there will be two main issues to overcome: Vital record confidentiality and divorces that were settled outside of court.

Screenshot of Tennessee website page about Health Data with yellow arrows pointing to Vital Statistics.
Individuals who need copies of divorce records will have a fair amount of trouble getting their hands on copies of the official documents. If the requester is not named in the divorce, such as a third party who is simply curious about the details of someone else’s divorce, then requesting vital records will not be possible.

Tennessee, and almost every state in the country, consider vital records to be confidential and can only be requested by the individual themselves or an immediate relative.

Court records can be another potential problem but likely not as big of an obstacle as it is in other states. While other states will often make divorce records confidential automatically, Tennessee considers any court records to be public information no matter what.

This means that any existing divorce records in the court can be requested by any member of the public for a small fee. This gives the individual access to a fair amount of information that is normally confidential such as financial information, debt information and whatever else can be discerned from the divorce decree.

However this open records policy has led many couples in Tennessee to settle their divorce outside of court using a mediator to avoid their information from becoming public. In this case, since none of the divorce proceedings occurred on record in a courtroom there will be almost no records for someone to request.

This generally means the only record that is available to the public will be the divorce decree which, in this case, should only include information regarding the names of the divorcees and the date that the divorce judgment was issued by a judge.

How To Find Out If Someone Filed for Divorce in Tennessee

Finding out if someone filed for divorce in Tennessee is extremely easy and there are two main ways to do so. The first is to use a free online background check service to find any public information on an individual, including if their name is on any divorce records in the state court system. To do this, simply find a reputable background check service that offers to find divorce records.

Many of these will offer free trials so that the search can be completed at no cost.

Another option is to use the free search available at the top of this page to complete the search.

Screenshot of Tennessee website page about the Secretary of State with yellow arrows pointing on how to find divorce records.
Although vital records will have information about divorces, this information is not available to the public. Instead of using vital records the best thing to do is to look through court records. It is possible that state court systems will have this information, so searching online state court systems is a great place to start.

Use the list below to find state court search information for some of the largest counties (by population) Tennessee.

Tennessee Online RecordsOnline Court Records Tennessee
Shelby County Online RecordsShelby County Online Court Records
Davidson County Online RecordsDavidson County Online Court Records
Knox County Online RecordsKnox County Online Court Records
Hamilton County Online RecordsHamilton County Online Court Records
Rutherford County Online RecordsRutherford County Online Court Records
Williamson County Online RecordsWilliamson County Online Court Records
Montgomery County Online RecordsMontgomery County Online Court Records
Sumner County Online RecordsSumner County Online Court Records
Sullivan County Online RecordsSullivan County Online Court Records
Wilson County Online RecordsWilson County Online Court Records
Blount County Online RecordsBlount County Online Court Records
Washington County Online RecordsWashington County Online Court Records
Bradley County Online RecordsBradley County Online Court Records
Maury County Online RecordsMaury County Online Court Records
Sevier County Online RecordsSevier County Online Court Records

If the state courts do not turn up any results, it will likely be a good idea to search for information at the county level. This will require that the county in which the divorce would have been filed is known. Once the county has been identified there are a few options. The first is to contact the county clerk’s office to see the best way to request records and learn about what records are available at the county level.

Use the list below to find your county clerk.

Tennessee County District ClerkTennessee Circuit Court Case Search
Shelby County District ClerkShelby County Circuit Court Case Search
Davidson County District ClerkDavidson County Circuit Court Case Search
Knox County District ClerkKnox County Circuit Court Case Search
Hamilton County District ClerkHamilton County Circuit Court Case Search
Rutherford County District ClerkRutherford County Circuit Court Case Search
Williamson County District ClerkWilliamson County Circuit Court Case Search
Montgomery County District ClerkMontgomery County Circuit Court Case Search
Sumner County District ClerkSumner County Circuit Court Case Search
Sullivan County District ClerkSullivan County Circuit Court Case Search
Wilson County District ClerkWilson County Circuit Court Case Search
Blount County District ClerkBlount County Circuit Court Case Search
Washington County District ClerkWashington County Circuit Court Case Search
Bradley County County District ClerkBradley County Circuit Court Case Search
Maury County County District ClerkMaury County Circuit Court Case Search
Sevier County District ClerkSevier County Circuit Court Case Search

Besides contacting the county clerk directly, some individuals may find it easier to perform the search themselves using the online state court search system for the state. To perform a search only the name of one of the individuals involved in the divorce needs to be known. A small fee is required to perform a search and obtain copies of any documents that are discovered.

Tennessee Superior CourtsTennessee County Court Website
Shelby County Superior CourtShelby County Court Website
Davidson County Superior CourtDavidson County Court Website
Knox County Superior CourtKnox County Court Website
Hamilton County Superior CourtHamilton County Court Website
Rutherford County Superior CourtRutherford County Court Website
Williamson County Superior CourtWilliamson County Court Website
Montgomery County Superior CourtMontgomery County Court Website
Sumner County Superior CourtSumner County Court Website
Sullivan County Superior CourtSullivan County Court Website
Wilson County Superior CourtWilson County Court Website
Blount County Superior CourtBlount County Court Website
Washington County Superior CourtWashington County Court Website
Bradley County Superior CourtBradley County Court Website
Maury County Superior CourtMaury County Court Website
Sevier County Superior CourtSevier County Court Website

To find any other county in Tennessee, to search records, visit the state’s clerk’s list website.

Divorce in Tennessee Laws

Before filing for a divorce, it is important to be aware of any laws that the state may have about divorce proceedings. This is especially important if there are children involved as each state has specific laws regarding divorce proceedings if the couple has children together.

Information about Tennessee divorce proceedings involving children can be found on the Tennessee courts website.2

Filing for Divorce in Tennessee

Filing for divorce in Tennessee is just as complicated and tedious as it is in almost every state. The best thing to do is to contact a divorce lawyer in the state who will help guide you through the process and answer any questions sufficiently.

Screenshot of TN Courts website page about Divorce with yellow arrows pointing to the court-approved divorce forms.
Aside from getting a lawyer, another important step is to begin filling out the necessary divorce forms with the courts. Unfortunately there are numerous forms to fill out and some of these will require the help of a lawyer to fill out properly. Divorce forms for Tennessee can be found using the list below.

Tennessee Divorce ApplicationTennessee Divorce Application Form
Shelby County Divorce ApplicationShelby County Divorce Application Form
Davidson County Divorce ApplicationDavidson County Divorce Application Form
Knox County Divorce ApplicationKnox County Divorce Application Form
Hamilton County Divorce ApplicationHamilton County Divorce Application Form
Rutherford County Divorce ApplicationRutherford County Divorce Application Form
Williamson County Divorce ApplicationWilliamson County Divorce Application Form
Montgomery County Divorce ApplicationMontgomery County Divorce Application Form
Sumner County Divorce ApplicationSumner County Divorce Application Form
Sullivan County Divorce ApplicationSullivan County Divorce Application Form
Wilson County Divorce ApplicationWilson County Divorce Application Form
Blount County Divorce ApplicationBlount County Divorce Application Form
Washington County Divorce ApplicationWashington County Divorce Application Form
Bradley County Divorce ApplicationBradley County Divorce Application Form
Maury County Divorce ApplicationMaury County Divorce Application Form
Sevier County Divorce ApplicationSevier County Divorce Application Form
Blount County Divorce ApplicationBlount County Divorce Application Form

Free Divorce Records Tennessee

Many of those asking “are divorce records public in Tennessee?” may be hoping to find these records for free.

Screenshot of Tennessee Courts website page about Marriage and Divorce Statistics with yellow arrows on the explanation of its terminology.
As mentioned, the only way to obtain divorce information for completely free is to find an online background check service that offers a free trial. When going the private background check approach, it is important to keep in mind that obtaining official copies from these third-party companies is not always possible. Usually, the only way to obtain certified copies, which will be required if the forms are required for various legal reasons, is to go through the court where the divorce was filed. This can be done by performing a search of the county court records using the list below.

Are Divorce Records Public in Tennessee?Public Divorce Records TN
Are Divorce Records Public in Shelby County TennesseeShelby County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Davidson County TennesseeDavidson County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Knox County TennesseeKnox County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Hamilton County TennesseeHamilton County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Rutherford County TennesseeRutherford County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Williamson County TennesseeWilliamson County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Montgomery County TennesseeMontgomery County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Sumner County TennesseeSumner County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Sullivan County TennesseeSullivan County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Wilson County TennesseeWilson County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Blount TennesseeBlount County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Washington TennesseeWashington County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Bradley TennesseeBradley County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Maury TennesseeMaury County Public Divorce Records
Are Divorce Records Public in Sevier TennesseeSevier County Public Divorce Records

Using Tn.gov Divorce Records

Some people ask “ are divorce records public in Tennessee?” may end up on the official website of the state of Tennessee.1 Although this is a good start, many divorce records will be kept at the county level and will not be accessible via the state website.

Instead use the list below to find the Tennessee public records search, or visit the clerk’s list site above.

Tennessee Public RecordsTennessee County Public Records Search
Shelby County Public RecordsShelby County Public Records Search
Davidson County Public RecordsDavidson County Public Records Search
Knox County Public RecordsKnox County Public Records Search
Hamilton County Public RecordsHamilton County Public Records Search
Rutherford County Public RecordsRutherford County Public Records Search
Williamson County Public RecordsWilliamson County Public Records Search
Montgomery County Public RecordsMontgomery County Public Records Search
Sumner County Public RecordsSumner County Public Records Search
Sullivan County Public RecordsSullivan County Public Records Search
Wilson County Public RecordsWilson County Public Records Search
Blount County Public RecordsBlount County Public Records Search
Washington County Public RecordsWashington County Public Records Search
Bradley County Public RecordsBradley County Public Records Search
Maury County Public RecordsMaury County Public Records Search
Sevier County Public RecordsSevier County Public Records Search

TN Marriage Records

Obtaining Tennessee marriage records will have the same problems as obtaining divorce records. Although marriage records are held by the vital records office, they are considered confidential and this will only be available to the individuals named in the records and their immediate family members.

Related Reading: Premarital Background Check: Eliminate Divorce With This Prenuptial Trick

This means that once again, the best way to obtain the records is to go through the county court where the marriage license was issued. Simply access the website of the local court and see if there is an online search option available. If not, simply contact the clerk of court directly and ask for information regarding the best way to make a records request.

Tennessee County Marriage RecordsTennessee Marriage License Records
Shelby County Marriage RecordsShelby County Marriage License Records
Davidson County Marriage RecordsDavidson County Marriage License Records
Knox County Marriage RecordsKnox County Marriage License Records
Hamilton County Marriage RecordsHamilton County Marriage License Records
Rutherford County Marriage RecordsRutherford County Marriage License Records
Williamson County Marriage RecordsWilliamson County Marriage License Records
Montgomery County Marriage RecordsMontgomery County Marriage License Records
Sumner County Marriage RecordsSumner County Marriage License Records
Sullivan County Marriage RecordsSullivan County Marriage License Records
Wilson County Marriage RecordsWilson County Marriage License Records
Blount County Marriage RecordsBlount County Marriage License Records
Washington County Marriage RecordsWashington County Marriage License Records
Bradley County Marriage RecordsBradley County Marriage License Records
Maury County Marriage RecordsMaury County Marriage License Records
Sevier County Marriage RecordsSevier County Marriage License Records

Finding Vital Records Memphis, TN and Other Major Cities (State of TN Office of Vital Records)

If a divorce certificate is needed, and the individual in need is named in the divorce, then contacting the vital records office will be necessary. Vital records offices deal with these kinds of requests all the time so obtaining the document should be fairly easy. The state of Tennessee’s Public Health Department even has a page on its website dedicated to the various ways to request certificates.3 In short, basic personal information will be needed so that the individual is not requesting a certificate for someone besides themselves or an immediate family member.

Screenshot of Tennessee Courts website page about Certificate with yellow arrows on instructions on how to get the certificate.
Use the list below to contact the vital records office and make a request for any divorce, marriage or birth certificates that may be needed.

Tennessee Vital Record LocationsTennessee Vital Records Search
Shelby County Vital Records Locations (Memphis)Shelby County Vital Records Search
Davidson County Vital Records Locations (Nashville)Davidson County Vital Records Search
Knox County Vital Records Locations (Knoxville)Knox County Vital Records Search
Hamilton County Vital Records LocationsHamilton County Vital Records Search
Rutherford County Vital Records LocationsRutherford County Vital Records Search
Williamson County Vital Records LocationsWilliamson County Vital Records Search
Montgomery County Vital Records LocationsMontgomery County Vital Records Search
Sumner County Vital Records LocationsSumner County Vital Records Search
Sullivan County Vital Records LocationsSullivan County Vital Records Search
Wilson County Vital Records LocationsWilson County Vital Records Search
Blount County Vital Records LocationsBlount County Vital Records Search
Washington County Vital Records LocationsWashington County Vital Records Search
Bradley County Vital Records LocationsBradley County Vital Records Search
Maury County Vital Records LocationsMaury County Vital Records Search
Sevier County Vital Records LocationsSevier County Vital Records Search

Tennessee Criminal Records

Besides Civil and family cases, all criminal records are public information in the state. Being able to search this information is a great tool, especially for individuals who are asking: are divorce records public in Tennessee? as a way to run a background check on someone.

Screenshot of TN Courts website page about Supreme Court with yellow arrows pointed to the Public Case History.
The steps to perform a background check are the same as finding divorce records, simply provide the name of the individual and any required fees to perform the search.

Tennessee County Criminal RecordsOnline Court Records Tennessee
Shelby County Criminal RecordsShelby County Criminal Records Search
Davidson County Criminal RecordsDavidson County Criminal Records Search
Knox County Criminal RecordsKnox County Criminal Records Search
Hamilton County Criminal RecordsHamilton County Criminal Records Search
Rutherford County Criminal RecordsRutherford County Criminal Records Search
Williamson County Criminal RecordsWilliamson County Criminal Records Search
Montgomery County Criminal RecordsMontgomery County Criminal Records Search
Sumner County Criminal RecordsSumner County Criminal Records Search
Sullivan County Criminal RecordsSullivan County Criminal Records Search
Wilson County Criminal RecordsWilson County Criminal Records Search
Blount County Criminal RecordsBlount County Criminal Records Search
Washington County Criminal RecordsWashington County Criminal Records Search
Bradley County Criminal RecordsBradley County Criminal Records Search
Maury County Criminal RecordsMaury County Criminal Records Search
Sevier County Criminal RecordsSevier County Criminal Records Search

Other Public Records Tennessee (Are Divorce Records Public in Tennessee?)

Court and vital records are not the only source of public records. Various property, tax and deed records are also considered public information and can be requested from various state agencies using the list below.

Tennessee County Deed RecordsTennessee Deed Record Search
Shelby County Deed RecordsShelby Deed Record Search
Davidson County Deed RecordsDavidson Deed Record Search
Knox County Deed RecordsKnox Deed Record Search
Hamilton County Deed RecordsHamilton Deed Record Search
Rutherford County Deed RecordsRutherford Deed Record Search
Williamson County Deed RecordsWilliamson Deed Record Search
Montgomery County Deed RecordsMontgomery Deed Record Search
Sumner County Deed RecordsSumner Deed Record Search
Sullivan County Deed RecordsSullivan Deed Record Search
Wilson County Deed RecordsWilson Deed Record Search
Blount County Deed RecordsBlount Deed Record Search
Washington County Deed RecordsWashington Deed Record Search
Bradley County Deed RecordsBradley Deed Record Search
Maury County Deed RecordsMaury Deed Record Search
Sevier County Deed RecordsSevier Deed Record Search

 

Tennessee Real Property RecordsTennessee Property Records Search
Shelby County Real Property Records SearchShelby County Property Records Search
Davidson County Real Property Records SearchDavidson County Property Records Search
Knox County Real Property Records SearchKnox County Property Records Search
Hamilton County Real Property Records SearchHamilton County Property Records Search
Rutherford County Real Property Records SearchRutherford County Property Records Search
Williamson County Real Property Records SearchWilliamson County Property Records Search
Montgomery County Real Property Records SearchMontgomery County Property Records Search
Sumner County Real Property Records SearchSumner County Property Records Search
Sullivan County Real Property Records SearchSullivan County Property Records Search
Wilson County Real Property Records SearchWilson County Property Records Search
Blount County Real Property Records SearchBlount County Property Records Search
Washington County Real Property Records SearchWashington County Property Records Search
Bradley County Real Property Records SearchBradley County Property Records Search
Maury County Real Property Records SearchMaury County Property Records Search
Sevier County Real Property Records SearchSevier County Property Records Search
Blount County Real Property Records SearchBlount County Property Records Search

Divorce can be extremely stressful and finding important documents after the divorce is final can make things even worse. Luckily, those wondering are divorce records public in Tennessee can find their own divorce records fairly easily using a handful of online databases.


References

1State of Tennessee. (2022). Home. Tennessee State Government. Retrieved August 10, 2022, from <https://www.tn.gov/>

2Tennessee Courts System. (2022). How to Get an Agreed Divorce With Children in Tennessee. Tennessee State Courts. Retrieved August 10, 2022, from <https://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/docs/final_div_forms_with_kids_effective_2018.01.11.pdf>

3Tennessee State Government. (2022). How do I get my certificate? Tennessee Department of Health. Retrieved August 10, 2022, from <https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/vital-records/certificate.html>

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